UNLABELLED: We performed a systematic review of the literature pertaining to the functional outcomes of the surgical management of acetabular fractures. A total of 69 articles met our inclusion criteria, revealing that eight generic outcome instruments were used, along with five specific instruments. The majority of studies reported outcomes using a version of the d'Aubigne and Postel score, which has not been validated for use in acetabular fracture. Few validated outcome measures were reported. No psychometric testing of outcome instruments was performed. The current assessment of outcomes in surgery for acetabular fractures lacks scientific rigour, and does not give reliable outcome data for either scientific comparison or patient counselling.
TAKE HOME MESSAGE: The use of non-validated functional outcome measures is a major limitation of the current literature pertaining to surgical management of acetabular fractures; future studies should use validated outcome measures to ensure the legitimacy of the reported results. Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2016;98-B:690-5.